Awasu » Banana Pi gateway: Installing Bananian Linux
Tuesday 1st March 2016 9:18 PM []

We first need to get Bananian Linux[1]This is a version of Debian, customized to work on a Banana Pi. running on a Banana Pi.

You will need:

  • a Banana Pi[2]I use a Banana Pi Pro, which has on-board wifi..
  • a power supply (5V, 2A[3]The documentation is quite adamant about the need for 2A, especially if you want the bPi to power an external 2.5" disk or USB WiFi adapter.).
  • a power cable (typically a full-size A-type connector at one end that goes into the power supply, and a micro-USB connector that goes into the bPi[4]Be careful not to confuse this with the similarly-shaped mini-USB connector.).
  • an SD card[5]Since the operating system will be running from the SD card, it would be wise to get a faster Class 10 card. of at least 2 GB.

Preparing the SD card

Bananian provide images of systems already set up, so all we have to do is copy it to the SD card and we'll be good to go.

  • Download the SD card image from here.
  • Download and install Win32DiskImager[6]If you are doing this on Windows., then use it to copy the image to the SD card.

Boot up the Banana Pi

We can now try to boot up the bPi:

  • Put the SD card into the bPi.
  • Plug in a network cable.
  • Plug in a monitor (via HDMI) and a USB keyboard.
  • Plug in the power supply. The bPi should start booting up.
  • Login as root (password is "pi").

Configuring the bPi with a fixed IP address

We want to give the bPi a fixed IP address, so that we will be able to find it on the network, even after it reboots.

If you have a DHCP server on your network, the bPi may have already been assigned an IP address[7]You will have to check with the DHCP server to find out what it is. Or you can just guess until you get it right 🙂 and you will be able to do this remotely. Otherwise, you will have to plug in a keyboard and monitor and do it directly on the bPi.

Edit the network interfaces configuration file:

root@bananapi:~# vi /etc/network/interfaces

and make the following change:

This forces the bPi to have a fixed IP address of 10.0.0.1[8]You may want to change this to suit your own network..

Reboot the bPi:

root@bananapi:~# reboot

Wait for a minute, then try to SSH[9]If you are on Windows, the standard tool for SSH connections is PuTTY. You will need v0.63 or later. into the bPi using the IP address you configured above.


Configuring the system

Once you're back in, run bananian-config to configure the system. In particular, you should:

  • set a new root password.
  • set the hardware configuration to Banana Pi or Banana Pi Pro, as appropriate.
  • expand the root file system[10]This will make the entire SD card available for use..

The default shell is zsh, so if you would like to change this:

root@bananapi:~# chsh -s /bin/bash

We should also create a new user account for general use, so that we don't have to logon as root:

We would like to grant sudo privileges to this account, but the default installation of Bananian Linux doesn't have sudo installed, so we'll defer this until the next section, when we get online.

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1. This is a version of Debian, customized to work on a Banana Pi.
2. I use a Banana Pi Pro, which has on-board wifi.
3. The documentation is quite adamant about the need for 2A, especially if you want the bPi to power an external 2.5" disk or USB WiFi adapter.
4. Be careful not to confuse this with the similarly-shaped mini-USB connector.
5. Since the operating system will be running from the SD card, it would be wise to get a faster Class 10 card.
6. If you are doing this on Windows.
7. You will have to check with the DHCP server to find out what it is. Or you can just guess until you get it right 🙂
8. You may want to change this to suit your own network.
9. If you are on Windows, the standard tool for SSH connections is PuTTY. You will need v0.63 or later.
10. This will make the entire SD card available for use.
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